Plea documents indicate the man is facing more than 11 years in prison for the assault, which occurred after he found out that his sister had spent the night with the victim, who is African-American.
The 18-year-old man accused of taking a baseball bat to an African-American man who spent the night with his sister has pleaded guilty to malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime statute, and first-degree assault.
Julian Tuimauga of Auburn accepted a plea deal that will send him to prison between 11 years and life, including a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for using a deadly weapon in the January attack that left DaShawn Horne in a coma and fighting for his life. He will be sentenced Sept. 21 by King County Superior Court Judge Julia L. Garratt.
According to charges, a Lyft driver watched as Tuimauga carried an aluminum baseball bat and confronted Horne, who had been with his sister the night before after a party. The driver said he gave Tuimauga’s sister’s name as the person who had requested the ride, then watched as Tuimauga walked to a corner of the fenced yard.
A short time later, the driver told detectives he saw Horne walk along the side of the house toward the driveway and heard him argue with Tuimauga, the charges say. He “then heard a thump sound like a bat had struck something,” according to charging papers.
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At that point, the driver heard Tuimauga say, “This is what happens when you bring black people around here,” the charges say.
Once a star athlete, Horne suffered a traumatic brain injury and has had to relearn how to speak and walk as a result of the attack.
According to plea documents, Tuimauga faces up to 136 months to life in prison for the assault and up to a year for malicious harassment when he’s sentenced. In a release from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, spokesman Dan Katzer said Tuimauga agreed to serve a mandatory two-year sentence for using a deadly weapon during the assault.
Telephone messages seeking comment from the families of both Horne and Tuimauga were not returned.